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Sceen Goes Blank And Vid Card Burns


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#1 cateyes

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 11:59 PM

Ok. I am not a techie. I just like to play games. So I set up my computer (HP Pavilion a350n) with a new vid card (ATI 9600) to play Everquest II. I played with no problems for about 2 months and then suddenly when I played my computer screen would go blank. The computer was still lit with the power on button, but my monitor wasn't responding. I at first thought it was the monitor that was having the problem (since it was 12 yo) but it never happened when I was just surfing or using Word. Only during Everquest. The problem became more frequent and so I opened the computer up and found the vid card was almost literally smoking. All the fans were working and there was very little to no dust in there. So after discussing the problem with a couple of friends they thought maybe my power supply was too low. The specs on the vid card suggested at least 300 watts and I had a 250 in there. (like I said I am not a techie...didn't think to match the specs of the power supply). So fine. Went out and replaced the 250 with a 350. Still blanked. I figured my vid card was fried so I sent it in for warranty replacement. It came back 2 weeks later. Got to play for a couple days....then...again blank. The vid card again was too hot to touch. Uninstalled the ATI drivers then updated and reinstalled the drivers. Same thing. Sent vid card in again because the heat had now killed the fan. Finally got my vid card back (and I don't think they will replace it a third time). Got a new monitor. I now get a strange message I never got before before it goes blank "NO SIGNAL). And it looks like it tries to recognize something but fails because it will go through sort of an off/on dance before I get the message and it all goes away. I am so frustrated I could scream! Do I need a new computer? Please someone enlighten me, because I can't afford another $1000 for a whole new system. Any help is appreciated :thumbsup:

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#2 junkdk

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 03:46 AM

Dear Cat,

Don't go insane! Several issues could be happening but when your friends said to go get a better powersupply they probably meant 500 watts or better. I have a Antec 550 watt in my gamer slash everything computer now. I play Doom 3, Half life 2, Fry Cry (a video card nightmare), and FEAR with high graphics. No problem!

Your fault is text book video failure due to lack of power and cooling. ATI is a really cool company and I use an ASUS AX800PRO/TVD in my computer. ATI builds safeguards into there video cards so unless you did something to the card it should still work.

I used to play EverQuest back in the day. You need lots of watts, ram, and broad band to play the game with any fun. Sell your power supplies on EBay and buy a 550 watt or better. We can talk about cooling latter.

Hope that helps,

junkdk :thumbsup:

Edited by junkdk, 05 November 2005 - 03:50 AM.

Your Hardware Guide.

#3 cateyes

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 05:20 PM

That does help actually. Confirms something I was suspecting. However, I did some research last night. Did a search on Yahoo for "Monitor goes blank"+"Everquest" and found out something really interesting. There seems to be a while not common problem not highly unusual problem either with Windows XP and 3D graphics cards. I read over many bullitan board queries of the same thing happening to others. From what I understand (and mind you much of it went over my head when solutions were presented), there seems to be a problem with DirectX ver. 8 (which is bundled into Windows XP) and some of the higher graphics. A chip in the motherboard is said to corrupt or burn out. There seem to be some fixes but I really can't understand what they are talking about and think I need a professional to get it to work. Something about the BIOS and different variations in there. Anyway, as I said it was above my head. The good news is that if it is a problem with my mobo, I found out last night after shuffling all my computer papers around that my warranty is still good for another month (I thought it had expired 5-6 months ago). So, my first step I think is to get the bigger power supply as you suggested and if that doesn't work get this puppy in to be fixed.
I'll keep you posted on the outcome...

#4 Rimmer

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 07:42 PM

If DirectX v8 is a problem, you can always update it (it's free) - I think v9c is current. Google or search the Microsoft site.
Re: the comments on the bulletin board they were probably saying the BIOS on your motherboard may need to be updated ("flashed") to take advantage of extra capability in the latest DirectX versions. Whether you can do this or not depends on your motherboard manufacturer having released a new BIOS lately. Check their website.

Warning - Should you attempt a BIOS flash study the instructions very carefully.

I've never heard of DirectX causing physical damage to the motherboard so I can't see how this would be a warranty issue. But I could be wrong.
:thumbsup:

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#5 cateyes

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 10:39 PM

Well I am thinking warranty because several of the other folks who had this problem said they ended up getting their mobo replaced because of the damage that was caused. I personally don't know; I am new to all this really. With the aid of my husband who knows a bit about BIOS, we followed the instructions of the others who got an easy solve working within the BIOS. I think it was lowering the performance level which made a slight difference. I could go on for about 10 minutes (as opposed to 2 min), but again went blank. So, tomorrow I am getting a 500 watt PS and see where that takes me before I try to get the mobo replaced. Maybe it really is just a power problem. As you suggested, some of the others had changed the DirectX from 8 to 9 with varying results. Some said it fixed the problem, others said there was no change. Either way I might as well try that too. I am soooooo itching to game again.
Thanks everyone for their input! :thumbsup:

#6 jamie8dc

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:14 PM

Cateyes I am having this EXACT same problem at the moment. I too have the Radeon 9600 in my machine, and when I play a game this happens. It used to happen maybe once or twice a day at random times, but now it's about every hour, sometimes twice in 5 minutes!

I have to manually power off my computer via holding down the power button. Please let me know if the power supply resolves it! The difference is my video card never seems hot to the touch, and I even play with my case open to let more air in. It seems to me like the video card or my computer has some sort of "safety switch" like a breaker that disconnects the vid card from the monitor to keep it from damaging itself or something, because usually I can even still hear what's going on in the game, I just can't see anything.

Let me know if you find something that works!

#7 garmanma

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:16 PM

In case you didn't notice, this thread was started over 3 years ago and the OP has never been back since. Start a new topic, giving the best detailed description you can of your problem. Also give us detailed computer specifications. I'm sure we can help you solve you're problem
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